From: Julius Fakinlede <email@example.com>
Date: 17 February 2017 at 20:17
Subject: Yoruba Affairs - THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF NOT PROPAGATING KNOWLEDGE IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN THE INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES.
To: Yoruba Affairs <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I must again congratulate Dr. Ogbonaya Onu, our education minister, for bringing this issue to our national attantion again. The vibrant debate going on now indicates that there is a feeling among us that there is indeed something amiss in the way we educate our children and that we are not making them get the most out of our efforts.
However, putting all the attention on the academic attainment of our children does not do justice to the irreparable loss that our current system does to us as a nation, mentally, psychologically, technologically, sociologically, and economically. It is only right to conclude that our inability, as a nation to achieve a scientifically oriented culture is due to our refusal to imbibe science and technology in a timely fashion, if at all. And this is due mainly to the fact that we deliberately set ourselves back at least ten years when we compare our education in this area to the rest of the world.
Mentally, we remain a nation that is enmeshed in superstions. The fruit of science and technology has stedfastly refused to pry us loose from many primitive ideas like using humans for sacrifice, an idea that is further reinforced by Africa Magic and the like. We read constantly in magazines like Alaroye of people killing women and children to make money. The average Nigerian child may have watched hundreds of these television shows before even beginning school and having his mental state permanently scored by them. By the time any form of science is introduced to this child, his mental state is already configured into believing that money comes from human body parts.
The objective of teaching science and technology at an early age is so that our children can learn about their immediate surroundings and appreciate the beauty of nature. Our children must be able to count as soon as they are able to learn anything. They must be able to see the beauty in plants, flowers, animals, insects, etc. They must be able to look into the heavens and be informed about the sun, the moon, planets, the solar system, stars, etc. They must be able to name different types of rocks, stones, soils, etc. Furthermore, our children must be taught about their community, and the culture of their society. They must learn from science from the very first day about the impossibility of transmutation. All these things cannot wait till the child learns English or French - it needs not wait. Our languages are rich enough and sufficient to trasfer all these knowledge to all our children if only we take the time to develop them.
We need to introduce science and technology to our children as soon as they are able to learn anything. We need to modify our number system so our children can begin to learn to use them as easily as they use the English number system. This issue can no longer be postponed. Our inability to even call the simplest five or six-figure number in a timely fashion makes us a laughing stock, even to our children.
I must again call on all our universities and institutions of higher learning in our nation to wake up to their responsibility and the challenge of making science and technology available to our children - in our language.
Senior moderator – The Science and Technology Education in Yoruba Site
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